The Rifle Rangers
- Publication date
- Athelstane e-Books, London, England, United Kingdom
- Nick Hodson
Quite a lively story! At one point the hero is to die by hanging by the heels over a precipice! At another he and his companions are attacked by a pack of snarling bloodhounds! And many other tense situations.
As usual with this prolific author the text is well interlarded with Spanish words, and those from other languages, French, German, Latin, Greek. We have done our best to get these words right, but beg to be forgiven if you spot an error here and there.
In addition to our difficulties with the Spanish, there is an Irish member of the cast whose words are so mis-pronounced that they practically constitute a language of their own. Here again we have tried to get the spellings as they appear in the book, but you can quite see how difficult that has been.
This book first appeared in the 1850s, and went through several editions in a few years. Forty years later there was a revival, and again several editions appeared. There are people even nowadays who revere "Captain" Mayne Reid as the first author to start this genre: authentic books about the wilder parts of North America, and its history.
REID, Thomas Mayne (1818-83).
Irish writer of boys' stories, born in Ballyroney, County Down. In 1840 he emigrated to New Orleans, settled as a journalist in Philadelphia (1843), and served in the US army during the Mexican war (1847), where he was severely wounded. Returning to Britain in 1849, he settled down to a literary life in London. His vigorous style and hairbreadth escapes delighted his readers. Among his books, many of which were popular in translation in Poland and Russia, were The Rifle Rangers (1850), Scalp Hunters (1851), Boy Hunters (1853), War Trail (1851), Boy Tar (1859), and Headless Horseman (1866). He went back to New York in 1867 and founded the Onward Magazine, but returned to England in 1870.
(With acknowledgements to Chambers Biographical Dictionary)
The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature mentions that he was the son of a Presbyterian Minister, and that the first two books mentioned above were for a general readership. When he returned to England the publisher Davis Bogue suggested that he should write books specifically for boys, catering for the Christmas market each year. He was a naturalist, and wrote about the creations of Nature, where many other Victorian authors would have been all moralising and pious. He was a great admirer of Byron, and some of his heroes are Byronic in temperament.
A PDF of scans and an HTML version of this book are provided. We also provide a plain TEXT version and full instructions for using this to make your own audiobook. To find these click on the PDF, HTML or TXT links on the left.
These transcriptions of books by various nineteenth century authors of instructive books for teenagers, were made during the period 1997 to the present day by Athelstane e-Books. Most of the books are concerned with the sea, but in any case all will give a good idea of life in the nineteenth century. This of course includes attitudes prevalent at the time, but frowned upon nowadays.
We used a Hewlett-Packard scanner, a Plustek OpticBook 3600 scanner or a Nikkon Coolpix 5700 camera to scan the pages. We then made a pdf which we used to assist with editing the OCRed text.
To make a text version we used TextBridge Pro 98 or ABBYY Finereader 7 or 8 to produce a first draft of the text, and Athelstane software to find misreads and improve the text. We proof-read the chapters, and then made a CD with the book read aloud by either Fonix ISpeak or TextAloud MP3. The last step enables us to hear and correct most of the errors that may have been missed by the other steps, as well as entertaining us during the work of transcription.
The resulting text can be read at www.athelstane.co.uk
The PDF version is constructed from 300 dpi scans. To get best value set "Use Logical Page Numbers" to "ON" in Edit/Preferences/Page Display of your PDF viewer. To obtain the HTML file find the area on the left of this page which has PDF, HTML and TXT in it, and click on HTML. In this version the entire book appears in the one file, which also includes the style-sheet and any pictures, and is written in xhtml. The larger of the two TXT files is what you need to create an audiobook, using for instance Text Aloud MP3. The smaller of the two TXT files contains full instructions for doing so.
- 2007-03-28 07:08:50
- Mid nineteenth century; Mexico
- ABBYY FineReader 8.0
- This process represents a large investment of time and skill. You may freely download a copy for your own use. We do not in the least mind if anybody wishes to offer any of our work on another website, but would point out that they should state that the copyright is ours, rather than claiming it as their own. They should also state that as we are constantly working to improve our texts, their readers should refer back to our version if they need to verify a text. Commercial use strictly forbidden.
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